I bought an electric guitar and a second-hand Fender Frontman amp one month ago.

Sometimes, I had some hum issues. Loud hum would appear and build through time, especially when the guitar is plugged but not played. The hum would reduce when I touch the strings. Also, once or twice, I experienced some little electric shocks touching my guitar strings. I thought about incorrect grounding, so I brought the amp to an amp tech. He discovered the socket cable was a European plug plugged into a UE-UK adapter (I live in UK), and so that the ground may not be transmitted by the adapter. So he changed the plug with a real UK one.

But now I still have issues. A loud buzz sometimes appears and cannot be stopped unless I turn off the amp. When I do so, there is often a rather loud pop sound. I don't think my guitar is the problem: with no input or when only a jack cable is in the amp, the buzz appears anyway. The buzz changes and becomes louder when I touch the jack. Also, when the guitar is plugged in, the buzz becomes louder when I touch the strings.

So... still a ground issue? Happens with all the sockets in my house. Should I buy a socket tester and test the grounding of my home, or is it rather the amp itself?

Here's a video in which the buzz can be heard: http://sendvid.com/x4bhbuif

Also, the earth of the socket seems to be OK according to a socket tester.

  • 1
    It's normal for a buzz when you touch the jack. If it happens without the guitar plugged in: it's an amp problem. Since it also gets louder when touching the strings you may also have some issues inside the guitar. I had a bass guitar which buzzed like that, and touching any metal part of it stopped the buzzing. I'm sorry that i can't answer this for you.
    – Aric
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 11:58
  • 1
    Take it to a better tech than the last one and tell them all of this. Or contact the manufacturer. Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 19:36
  • It is possible that some other equipment in or around your house creates interferens on the power lines or by sending radio waves. A well known source of interference is cell phones, they can induce a machine gun type of sound. As you describe the problem, it does not to appear to be that, but it does help if you try to observe when and how the problem occurs.
    – ghellquist
    Commented Jun 30, 2018 at 9:48

1 Answer 1


This is the question you should be asking the electrician who re-wired the mains lead. It would have been a good idea to have the guitar and lead along with the amp., he could then test everything properly, and just maybe, the noise would have gone.

And, yes, it's a good idea to own a socket tester. Mine goes to every gig, and may well have saved lives, let alone equipment, when I refuse to plug into un-earthed sockets occasionally. It's just got to be done!

  • He tested the amp with another guitar and lead, and everything seemed sorted out. But I must say that in my house my amp does not always buzz... Sometimes it buzzes, sometimes not, sometimes it does after a few minutes... So maybe the amp tech was just lucky not to hear buzz. I will buy a socket tester next thing then! If my socket is good, then I'll come back to the technician with my guitar, lead and amp.
    – Mysterry
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 14:11

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